Oceanside, CA (August 21, 2008) – Ricky James, the 19-year old paraplegic from Murrieta, CA has been officially accepted to compete in the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championships this October 11th in Kona, HI.
Challenged Athletes Foundation’s (CAF) Ricky James will compete in the Handcycle class in the World’s toughest race which consists of a 2.4-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride across the Hawaiian lava desert and a 26.2-mile marathon along the coasts of Hawaii’s Big Island.
Ricky was well on his way to fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a Supercross champion, when life took a drastic turn. Three years ago, at just 16 years old, he was injured in a Motocross accident on the track at one of the largest Amateur National races in the country. The blow to his T7 vertebrae left him paralyzed from his sternum down. Today at 19, he’s deftly navigating the new terrain of his life.
Since the accident, James has not slowed down. Besides riding Motocross again, Ricky has competed in the Baja 500, was recently awarded a Silver Medal in the Summer X Games and has his sites focused on a 4-wheel racing career. In his first year of racing, Ricky has taken 8 out of 9 pole positions, won 3 of 9 events so far and closely trails the lead points within the West Coast Pro Truck series.
“I’m excited and honored to have this opportunity…to show young people that suffer from any form of disability that, with perseverance, anything is achievable”, said James. “I appreciate all the hard work Bob Babbitt from CAF and Competitor Magazine has put into this, along with my trainer David Bailey.”
“Ricky has a gift and it’s easy to see…whatever he wants to do, he does”, says trainer, MX Icon and 2000 Ford Ironman World Champion David Bailey. “Whether it’s figuring out a way to ride his motorcycle, racing trucks or triathlons, he’s not scared. I have no doubt he will finish Ironman in his first attempt- and that’s saying a lot considering less than a year ago he had to learn all three disciplines from scratch!”
An account has been set-up for Ricky on CompetitionFriend.com for those who wish to support Ricky. Those interested, can click HERE <http://classifieds.competitionfriend.com/9000010>
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Todd Ballard- NXTagency
(760) 481-3702 TBallard@NXTagency.com